The Scottish Football Association (SFA) has warned that Aberdeen’s Pittodrie stadium could lose hosting rights to national team football matches if plans for the Scottish Premiership club to build a new ground are blocked.
Last week, Aberdeenshire Council renewed its objection to the proposed project to build a new stadium and training facilities at Kingsford at a cost of £50m (€56.7m/$69.7m).
Further talks are due to take place at a special council meeting on January 29, but the SFA has now waded into the argument to warn that should the decision go against the football club, the city could lose out on international football.
“With the introduction of the Uefa Nations League replacing international friendlies, last year’s match against Holland could be the last time Pittodrie, and therefore Aberdeen, will host a Scotland international, due to its well-documented constraints,” SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said, according to the BBC.
“This further underlines the need for a new stadium to become a major national sporting asset and enhance the city’s ability to host internationals and European football.”
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Regan added: “Pittodrie can only ever achieve the silver level of the Scottish FA’s licensing regime because of its field and dressing room dimensions, spectator areas, the provision for disabled fans and the media facilities.
“We are keen to see clubs across the country invest and develop their own facilities and, in Aberdeen’s case, the new stadium will ensure that they can continue to be able to host top European fixtures locally in front of their own fans.”
Derek McInnes, current manager of Aberdeen, has also had his say on the debate, warning other clubs could “pull away” from the team if the new stadium project does not get the go-ahead.
McInnes said: “I believe the club still has so much to achieve. Help me to help Aberdeen. Other teams will pull away from us.”